Remarks by the Secretary General, Dame Meg Taylor, at the Launch of the Boe Declaration Action Plan

Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum – Dame Meg Taylor

Remarks to Launch the Boe Declaration Action Plan

15 October, 2019

Suva, Fiji

Chair of the FOC Sub-Committee on Regional Security, Excellencies and Colleagues, please allow me to make a few remarks to launch the Boe Declaration Action Plan.
Forum Leaders have long recognized that security and stability underpin sustainable development and economic growth.
The Forums first security mechanism, the Rarotonga Treaty signed in 1985 ensured that the South Pacific remained a nuclear free zone.
Since then, a number of security declarations have been made by Forum Leaders that addressed a range of issues from transnational crime, regional security cooperation, good governance, rule of law, preventive diplomacy, regional response and, combatting terrorism.
In 2017, Forum Leaders considered the positive effect of cooperation on regional security and how to effectively leverage the lessons learned from the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI).
Forum Leaders agreed to build on the Biketawa Declaration and other Forum security related declarations as a foundation for strategic future regional responses.
In doing so, Leaders recognised the importance of an expanded concept of security inclusive of human security, humanitarian assistance, prioritising environmental security, and regional cooperation in building resilience to disasters and climate change.
As a result, the Boe Declaration was developed and subsequently endorsed by Forum Leaders in Nauru, 2018.
The Boe Declaration acknowledges a dynamic geopolitical environment and the need to ensure the collective voice of the Blue Pacific is heard.
It reaffirms the need for greater cooperation by all parties to ensure regional security including the recognition that enhanced regional security is underpinned by strengthened national security approaches and systems.
This Action Plan, endorsed by Forum Leaders in 2019 when they met in Tuvalu, provides a broad framework to assist Members implement the Boe Declaration on Regional Security.
It sets out to ‘positively and proactively’ shape our regional security environment by progressing specific, achievable, and targeted activities under the relevant strategic focus areas prioritised under the Boe Declaration on Regional Security.
It will be supplemented by a rolling (organic) activity matrix with activities to be reviewed by Forum Members on an annual basis through the newly established Forum Officials Sub-Committee on Regional Security (FSRS).
This Action Plan has both strategic and operational benefits which:

  • details the Blue Pacifics’ regional security priorities;
  • outlines strategies to address these priorities; and,
  • recommends national efforts which can be undertaken by Forum Members in support of these regional priorities.

Additionally, the Action Plan will provide the basis for strategic engagement with Forum Dialogue partners, international organisations, civil society and the private sector in areas of mutual interest.
It is my fervent hope that the Action Plan will provide the basis for tangible improvements to enhance safety, security and stability across our Blue Pacific!
It gives me great pleasure to officially launch and present to Members and the technical permanent observers, the Boe Declaration Action Plan.
Chair, Excellencies and Colleagues, I thank you.

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